Written by William S. Cooper in 1988, a member of the Radio Committee for about 35 years. Now deceased.
As I recall events that led up to our first Radio broadcast at the Marcus Hook Baptist Church, things went something like this:
There has been much discussion concerning broadcasting our Sunday Morning Services from 11 to 12 o'clock in the Official Board and the congregation also. A Radio Committee was appointed to look into the possibility of getting radio time, costs, and the church's responsibilities.
The committee consisted of the following members:
- Rev. G. Harold Hill, Pastor (Chairman)
- William C. Elliott
- William S. Cooper
- Mrs. Mary Jones (organist)
- Harry Metzer
- Mrs. Beatrice Downs (pianist)
The Committee visited stations in Wilmington, Delaware, Norristown and Philadelphia, but without success. We already knew that a Radio Station was to be built in Chester, so a meeting was held with the founder, owner, to try to get time for broadcasting. Mr. James Tisdale, the owner, told us that they were loaded with applications and could not come up with an answer at that time. He told us that he wanted a city church to have the Sunday 11-12 hour, one that would be responsible. I just don't recall the dates, but a short time after this meeting, WVCH was completed. WE were in contact with Mr. Tisdale at least two times after the first meeting before the station went on the air.
This 11-12 period had been given to a large church in Chester and as far as I know the church started broadcasting when WVCH went on the air in April, 1948. To the best of my knowledge, no more contacts were made with Mr. Tisdale.
At this point, we, as board members, were much in prayer for the situation trusting that something would happen in order to get radio time. And it did!
Unknown to us at Marcus Hook Baptist, the church that got the 11-12 hour wanted to drop the program in June and come back in september and pick it up again. WEll, to this idea, Mr. Tisdale said a flat "No."
About the middle of June, a representative of WVCH called Pastor Hill and told him that the 11-12 period was open starting Sunday, July 4th. Could we take it?
Well, you already have the answer. A group from the Radio Committee went up to the station to form a contract with Mr. Tisdale and so we hit the airwaves July 4, 1948. To my knowledge there has never been a Sunday Service missed on the air to this date, 40 years later.
The station set up the needed equipment for broadcasting and always sent an operator to handle it during church service.
I must mention the name of Mr. Chet Stebbins, our dear friend, that did most of the engineering for many years and until we built the new church. Also, we surely do appreciate the kind of relationship we here at the church have enjoyed with the owners and staff of WVCH during these 40 years of broadcasting.